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  #1  
Old December 14th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Mike
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Question headers for '97 D90

New to the list and to the Defender world. So here goes. I was interested in putting an after market exhaust system on my 1997 D90. Finding headers is a daunting task to say the least. I have seen in the bios that many of you guys are running Hedman Headers part #39800 with flowmaster muffers. Are there any problems that I should be aware of with this setup? Are there any other setups out there? How is the Borla system? What should I do with the Cat? Keep it in place as is or replace with high flow cat? If I keep the existing cat will it negate any benefits that the new exhaust would otherwise have added? Well I could go on but that should get me started on the right track.

mike
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  #2  
Old December 14th, 2003, 08:46 PM
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Phil
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Mike - I'm no mechanic and also a new D90 owner, but the first thing I did after buying mine in Aug. was install a Borla stainless cat-back exhaust and a K&N air filter. I immediately noticed an improvement in performance. It gave it a little boost. More responsive and the engine just seems to run better. Nice little rumble also. I've heard nothing but good things about the NRP system. They've got those performance "Y pipes"...http://www.onlinemac.com/business/no...er/nr00008.htm
I might add those at a later date.
My $.02
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  #3  
Old December 14th, 2003, 10:45 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
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Mike,

You might want to call NRP if you plan on using headers. I just installed the full set and it is really nice. But.... It designed with the original exhaust manifolds in mind.

Check the UK after-market. I know there are UK made headers.

EwS
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  #4  
Old December 14th, 2003, 11:17 PM
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Rick Carlisle
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Mike,

Suggest you check the archives as I posed this question several months ago and there was quiet a few responses. After looking for a while, I decided to buy the Borla system, plus I installed a K&N filter and an electronic chip. Also a very lengthy discussion on the chip. From my experience, the combination of the three, especially the chip, has made a tremendous difference in my daily driver.
Good luck.

Rick Carlisle
97 D-90
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  #5  
Old December 15th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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Eric,
Did you keep the exhaust manifold and add "Y" pipe or did you add headers to it? I get the feeling you have the exhaust manifold still. Did you do the work yourself or have a muffler shop do it? And does the O2 sesnor stay in place with the"Y" pipes?
Thanks
Mike
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  #6  
Old December 15th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Jeffrey Rosbrugh
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Mike,
I too am interested in the sourcing/addition of headers, as this has always been succesful in adding power, improving drivability and other attributes. Rick is right on about several threads on the same /similar topics. Two options I am aware of, and am saving my pennies for interms of headers: 1. RPi in england has two styles that fit (less cat's for one of them though). Summit also has a steel version that also apparently works. I believe (correct me if I am wrong please) they may be listed under the Buick 215. Keep us posted on what you find! JBR
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  #7  
Old December 15th, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Keith Duckett
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I have RPI (non-cat_ headers and a stainless exhaust). When fitting they not veyr cleverly dented one of the pipes so it would clear a chassis protrusion. I didnt spot it till well after the installation was done and figure the slight increase in back pressure from this probably wont make any discernible difference. One point though and that is that the headers routing goes pretty close to the starter motor. I am on my third starter (original, first replacement, second repleacement (under warranty). I was told that heat from the header pipe might be contributing to the early demise. I dunno how true this is. Some say I should lag it but then what will happen when it gets wet? current starter motor seems to be doing OK.
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  #8  
Old December 15th, 2003, 04:38 PM
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Mike
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Currently I am thinking of building cat back system with 2 1/2 in pipe from the existing "Y" pipe(keeping the stock cats) into a flowmaster muffler and out behind the passenger rear wheel. Total cost $210.00. I could put the NRP "Y" pipe system in with this for an extra $510.00. Big jump in price but is it worth it? I will of course put the K&N filter. Any thoughts?
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  #9  
Old December 15th, 2003, 09:02 PM
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Mike
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Correction: I would have it exit behind the driver rear wheel as it does now. Sorry.
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  #10  
Old December 15th, 2003, 09:14 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Mike,

I still have the Exhaust manifold. I took the system off and then... it freakin snowed. said screw it and brought it to the dealer. I needed a new O2 sensor anyway, along with a new transducer for my Speedo. They charged me about 175 for the NRP. A muffler shop should be able to do the install for about the same or less. O2 should transfer, but while your doing it, might as well check and replace if nec. Also replaced hangers.

Headers would be $$$$ to install right, unless you do it yourself. I think with the K&N, the NRP, decarbonizing my throttle body, and adding the LRNA valve treatment to the engine, the performance was noticeable.

A chip? still on the fence. I think I am better off getting 4.11 gears myself. Much more benefits if you ask me. On and off trail. I get the creeps thinking about messing with my ECU. just my $.02

If you'd like, I can post some pictures.

EwS
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  #11  
Old December 15th, 2003, 09:29 PM
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Mike,

Worth it? My main reason for doing it was that the right cat. rusted through. OEM exhaust for a 97 D-90 Auto from RoversNorth ran $ 1,306.5 for everything. Figured I didn't want to pay about 800 in the future to replace the Cats.

I have read and heard many good things about the flowmaster and the Borla. Both are Cat back which didn't work for me.

Since your not in the rustbelt, the headers, custom bent tubing and flowmaster sounds like it would work very well.

My suggestion, call NRP and ask them a few questions. What type of tubing, how hard it was to bend, ect. to get an idea of how they did it. Copy it and modify it for your uses.

I just got screwed by road salt.
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  #12  
Old December 15th, 2003, 11:33 PM
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Eric,

I understand the reluctance regarding the chip. You are not alone.
But I have no reservations in saying it has made my 97 automatic a pleasure to drive on a daily basis, in town, vs. being a pain in my ass before installing the chip. Just made the truck more responsive. Not fast, but certainly more responsive. And the guy who helps me with my 90 was absolutely amazed at how much more responsive it was. He thought I was wasting my $500 before I did it. And maybe it works better on the automatics vs. the manuals...I am not sure.
I also intend to install the 4:10 gears and can't wait to see how the combination of the chip and the gears will work.

Rick
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  #13  
Old December 16th, 2003, 12:29 AM
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Rick,

What chip did you install? The RPI or the one RN is selling? Or is there another one? I am going to search the archives and see what is up and what other people have experienced.

Interestingly enough, the guys at RN echo your experience. Better on GEMS and Auto's.

My main problem is what the chip itself does. Re-mapping the ignition and fuel. Since the GEMS comes from Lucas with fairly robust security, how does the chip interface correctly? Code to re-map curves seems easier to write than actually figuring out how to re-code the entire system . The chips instruct the GEMS system to manage itself in a different manner. But how do these instructions integrate with the system wide code that is actually running the entire process of engine management? That is my main stumbling block - possible cause and delayed effect due to shortsighted code. My concern is that the solution addresses only the symptoms, but doesn't cure the problems- the 4.0 was released in a de-tuned state.

I am going to let sleeping dogs lie. Hell my engine only has 9,872 miles as of last week and runs beautifully. Started a Rover escrow account to start saving for the future. 4.6 Galvanized frame and rust management.

EwS
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  #14  
Old December 16th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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Eric,

I installed the RPI chip. Purchased it from Rover Connections. Had to remove the ECU and send it to them and within a few days received it back with the new chip installed.
I don't really understand, technically, how it works and can't answer your specific questions. But it does work, at least for me. As I said in the previous thread, I used a similar chip in a BMW years ago and drove that car forever with no problems whatsoever. And the way I look at it, if my engine dies earlier because I used this chip, at least I had fun driving the truck before it died vs. constantly being aggravated. And it would give me an excuse to put in a 4.6! lol

Rick
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  #15  
Old December 16th, 2003, 01:42 PM
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Mike
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OK, thanks guys, now I can't make up my mind. Current thinking on my part is to just add the 2 1/2 in. pipe with the flowmaster and keep the existing cats. I just don't see how the NRP could make that much difference. Correct me if I'm wrong please. In the future I may add headers and NRP if not satisfied. Now about the 4:11 gears. Whats the deal with these? How are they going to improve performance (on or off road)? How much do they cost? How difficult to replace? Looks like we are on to a new thread. Oh, eric lets see some pics. I will have a few available soon of my rig.
Mike
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  #16  
Old December 16th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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I would just do the cat back. It is crazy to pay NRP for their Y-pipe, when you can get one made for less than half at a local shop. Also, the NRP Y-pipe contains some mild steel, so it too will rust. As far as headers, they wouldn't be worth the trouble, I wouldn't think. They never seem to fit correctly (clearance problems) and are a pain in the ass to install,and are usually made from pretty thin stock, so they can be dented and broken easily. Just my $.02 worth.

Chris
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  #17  
Old December 16th, 2003, 03:02 PM
Eric Siepmann
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Mike,

The actual gain from the NRP, or for that matter, any aftermarket parts ar fairly nominal. The NRP Cats are a little less constrictive than the stock. I would skip them and upgrade or replace your original CATS only when you have to. I didn't really have the choice and the NRP system fit my bill. I would keep the manifolds, CATS, and run a Flowmaster or Borla.

check out Great Basin Rovers for the full technical story on the gears. I don't wan't to post anything in error.

http://www.greatbasinrovers.com/
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  #18  
Old December 16th, 2003, 05:08 PM
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Mike,

Didn't mean to hijack your thread. Sorry.

As for headers, I wanted them as well. But after research, including having some performance guys tell me, after looking at the stock manifold, that I wouldn't gain much, if anything, in increased performance by putting on headers, I gave up on the idea. I went with a Borla system.

Buckon37s had some thoughts on fabricating a system, including using a flowmaster muffler. You may wish to contact him about ideas.

Good luck.

Rick
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  #19  
Old December 16th, 2003, 11:41 PM
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Mike
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OK you guys have been a big help. I think the flowmaster with 2 1/2" pipes is going to be the ticket for me. This way I can save some $$$ and put it towards something that will make a differnce. Like those 4:11 gears. Thanks for the input you guys I really appreciate it. I will post some pics after Xmas (digital camera for my wife which I will use more I'm sure). By the way, where are those pics Eric?
mike
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  #20  
Old December 16th, 2003, 11:42 PM
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Mike
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sorry, 4:10 gears
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